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Come November 10,the entire Jehangir Art Gallery will be filled with Paresh Maity’s imposing works. This art hub will showcase large-scale and latest creations of the Delhi-based artist during the week-long exhibition called Montage Moments Memories.

Written by Alaka Sahani |
November 4, 2009 11:59:48 pm

The scale of Paresh Maity’s work grows larger as Mumbai hosts his solo after four years

Come November 10,the entire Jehangir Art Gallery will be filled with Paresh Maity’s imposing works. This art hub will showcase large-scale and latest creations of the Delhi-based artist during the week-long exhibition called Montage Moments Memories. The event shows his ambition to scale a creative high—and the size of his work is not the only criterion to judge that. This time,Mumbai will be privy to his exploration of various mediums—sculpture,photography and video work,apart from the regular watercolour and oil paintings—to produce some brilliant results.

“Exploring various mediums was a spontaneous decision. The search for change often offers a new dimension and helps in finding a fresh language,” says the 44-year-old. The exhibits include a suite of paintings titled Mystic City; bronze sculptural works from the Face to Face series with large angular faces; and Faces of Life for which the artists has worked over the photographed image in pen and ink. Apart from these,Maity,for the first time,presents a video work,Kolkata to Kozhikode,which traces India through the monsoon season. “The varied range of artworks celebrates Maity’s immense creativity,” says Sangeeta Chopra of Art Musings.

As the scale of his work grew,the artist found the challenges mounting. “Some of the oil paintings are 20×10,20×6 and 20×5 feet big. Most of the sculptures are 20 feet and above in height and weigh around 500 kilos each. It’s difficult to carry out larger compositions. But when artists attempt public art,the size of their creations grows bigger,” he reveals.

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Not surprisingly,what stands out—other than his enormous creations—is his desire to interact with the public. “This show is as much for the public as for the art connoisseurs. That’s the reason,the exhibition will be held at Jehangir Art Gallery for a week (till November 15),before moving to Art Musings for its second run from November 16 to December 8,” he adds. The event also brings to the fore interesting experiments by Maity. He has dismantled an Enfield motorcycle and used its body parts to form three installations,including a crab and a tortoise.

For inspiration,the artist didn’t have to look far. “I have always loved photography. This time,I have used it for my artistic expressions,” he says. The idea behind Maity’s sculptures has its root in his childhood. “Since I come from West Bengal,in my childhood I have watched artists form clay-models of idols,” says Maity,who was born in Tamluk,West Bengal.

Though video art is a relatively new medium for him,he plans to further explore this on a larger scale. Those familiar with his artistic journey won’t be surprised by this choice. Though Maity is recognised as a watercolourist,he is equally at ease with oil on canvas. He started out as a painter in the academic style,but later shifted towards abstraction. However,one thing seems to be a constant in his work—the influence of nature—be it his large landscapes on canvas or his first video art. The artist admits to it and quoting Aristotle,he says,“All art is but imitation of nature.”

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